Canadian Manufacturing

Feds launch new $50M program aimed at helping small Canadian companies export

With just 2 per cent of SMEs currently exporting, program could push more Canadian businesses into the international market



Canada's participation in free trade agreements will allow it to maintain its access to the U.S. market while adding trading partners overseas. PHOTO: Maersk Group

Economists say businesses involved in international markets are more competitive and more likely to succeed at home. PHOTO: Maersk Group

KITCHENER, Ont.—Canada’s federal government has launched a new program designed to help more small and medium-sized enterprises look beyond our borders.

With just 2 per cent of SMEs currently selling their products or services abroad, CanExport will provide small businesses with as much as $100,000 toward export development costs.

“CanExport is an investment in growing our economy, strengthening the middle class and helping those working hard to join it,” Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, said following the launch of the program at tech incubator, Communitech in Kitchener, Ont.

“This program will enable small businesses in Canada to explore new opportunities, giving them an advantage in competitive and potentially lucrative new markets, while creating good-quality jobs at home,” she added.

As Canada’s share of the important U.S. import market decreases, economists believe Canadian business must renew their efforts south of the border and work harder overseas to open new markets. The government hopes the new program will allow Canadian firms to take take advantage of the many new opportunities emerging around the world, as well as help increase companies’ competitiveness at home.

“CanExport is part of our plan to support small businesses that are seeking to become more productive, more innovative and more export-oriented,” Bardish Chagger, Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Tourism, said. “With this program, which is part of Canada’s trade strategy, we want to make it easier for small businesses to take advantage of government financing and export-oriented supports.”

In order to be eligible for CanExport, companies must have fewer than 250 employees and annual revenue of between $200,000 and $50 million.

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